Preparing and supporting employees transitioning to on-campus work

Preparing your team

Transitioning to work on campus will be difficult for some employees. Plan an informal conversation with each team member to understand how they feel about coming to campus. Listen with empathy. Gather information and address their concerns.

Providing support for employees

With any change, it is normal to experience fear, stress, anxiousness, and worry. This has been an emotionally overwhelming time for many people. Stress can be compounded by a number of factors, notably physical or mental health challenges and financial strain.

Some individuals transitioning to on-campus work may feel worried, anxious, tired, and uncertain about coming back, while others may be enthusiastic, energized, and engaged.

Additional challenges you or your team may face include:

  • Childcare concerns
  • Change in caregiving role
  • Fear of COVID-19 exposure
  • Absenteeism
  • Managing relationships
  • Feelings of guilt or loss after layoffs of other team members

As a manager, it is important to recognize and support all responses and challenges. A supportive manager or supervisor can have a direct impact on the mental health and well-being of the faculty and staff they lead.

To be a supportive and effective leader and help your team transition as well as possible:
Be flexible.

  • Set clear expectations and ensure employees understand what’s required of them.
  • Measure performance with deliverables (not perceptions).
  • Check in with employees regularly.
  • Approach conversations with genuine care and concern.
  • Encourage open dialogue about how people are feeling.
  • Seek to understand struggles.
  • Prioritize work-life harmony and self-care.

Support for yourself or your employees

If you’re concerned about the mental health and well-being of a faculty or staff member due to worrisome or troubling behaviour, and they are not responding to your offers of support, consider contacting Helping Individuals at Risk (HIAR).